What is PPD?
How do you know if you have it?
Does it ever go away?
How do you treat it?
I was in labor for about two days and I never want to relive that again, it was an extremely painful and frustrating process. I was in labor for damn near two days and I got rushed in for an emergency C-section and gave birth to my daughter on July 30th, 2016. The only thing I could focus on was the pain I was in, what was happening to my body, everything that went wrong during my pregnancy and how much my life is going to change from this moment going forward. I remember hearing her cry as they were pulling her out, I looked over to my right and it was my sister in-law that was there for this life changing experience and I couldn’t help but think “this isn’t how it’s supposed to be” over and over again, I wanted to have a “natural” labor so badly and now I may never without a risk. I was completely filled with emotions and negative thoughts that it completely robbed me from what should have been the most amazing moment in my life. The entire 9 months while you’re in and out the doctors office they give you little brochures about PPD but of course nobody pays attention because you think that you would know IF you were severely depressed or if something was wrong with you but no I was wrong. I was recovering from a major surgery so I always thought that had a lot to do with how I was feeling but it was way deeper than that. I knew something was wrong when I didn’t want to eat, I was always anxious, I cried nonstop, I couldn’t be alone because I always felt like I would harm myself and the biggest trigger was the connection with my daughter because I didn’t have one, well I couldn’t feel it at least. I felt like I was in this dark hole and I’ll come out here and there but I was always still in that hole and nobody was able to reach me; no matter how hard I tried to connect with anything or anybody I just couldn’t. I hated being a mom and I felt as if I had no type of connection to my own daughter and I had this huge amount of pressure to make it look like I did so that’s what I tried to do. On the outside I tried to keep it together but in reality I felt like I was just babysitting someone’s child and I couldn’t wait for someone to get home so I can just breathe for a second. I cared for my daughter and I made sure she was fed, changed, and cuddled but it just did not feel right because I was so extremely depressed. I couldn’t enjoy moments because I was too worried about when she’s going to cry next. Having a C-section made me feel like I couldn’t be a mom, I mean I couldn’t do anything without help. I had to sleep in my sisters room for 3 months just so she could help pick up my daughter when she would wake up every 10 minutes. I remember one day waking up and there was blood all on my pants because my incision popped back open. I couldn’t stop looking at my body and noticing the physical changes which was extremely difficult but to deal with myself internally was a battle I did not know how to fight. I remember my doctor telling me that those who develop postpartum depression are at greater risk of developing major depression later on in life and man, that later came pretty quick and she was right. Every time I thought I was “over it” then next came my hardest battle with depression and anxiety; accepting the hard reality that it never really goes away but that’s another story for later. I don’t think I can really give advice on how to deal with PPD because I’m still trying to figure it out and my daughter is now two. Sometimes it still hugs me tight at night but I pray it off and I have these talks with myself constantly reminding me that I am doing the very best that I can. It’ll be little things that will trigger me like for example – me and her dad are not together and we’ve been raising her in separate homes from the very beginning, when we do our swap I can tell that she’s a little confused and I can sense her attitude change going from house to house. I recently moved out into my own place and she labels it “mommy house” instead of home and that hurt me then it triggers these thoughts that if I would’ve done better in my past I would’ve been able to give her a family and avoid all of this. It’s a constant battle of trying to keep myself happy and also doing what’s best for my daughter – sometimes they don’t align or even seem right. It was hard to come out about this because I felt crazy and just how society is set up I couldn’t expect nobody to understand. Everybody kept telling me that I should be happy and I should feel blessed that I have a healthy baby girl which was true but everybody was so blinded and they couldn’t see that battle I was fighting alone and it’s something that I wasn’t able to explain at the time. It’s tough so tough but the only thing I can say regarding PPD is to keep fighting. Keep digging and trying to find a way to get on top of it (pray, read, get help, medication, therapy, etc) I’ve tried it ALL and there is no shame in that. I started my blog because of how badly I was going through it so I started to write and then God directed me to publish my first blog and I talked about my experience with pregnancy, custody, and motherhood; it became an outlet for me but then I got crazy feedback from people I didn’t even know not realizing how it was helping others. I found my purpose in that dark place, I am a vessel, and this is how God is using me. With Love, T.